Lottery winners Pina and Mike Dettore (left) and Samir and Denise Haddad show off Samir's old lottery tickets - he's been saving them since the 1970s - and their $32 million cheque. The two Ottawa families won Saturday's Lotto 6/49 draw.
Credits: Mark O'Neill, Toronto Sun
It was a jubilant scene when an Old Ottawa South barber and his longtime customer split a whopping $32-million lottery jackpot five years ago.
But now the wealthy barber’s just-as-rich customer is being sued by his own sister for more than $10.6 million and $500,000 in damages.
Leila Nahas alleges she paid her brother Samir Haddad $1 toward the $3 winning ticket and deserves one-third of the winnings, but he’s been “harsh, vindictive, reprehensible, malicious, oppressive and high-handed.”
Haddad denies owing her a dime and seeks legal costs.
The bitter battle will land in front of a judge and jury Tuesday.
Lawyers for the warring siblings aren’t talking, but documents set out the allegations, none of them proven in court.
Nahas claims Haddad visited her store before the June 2008 Lotto 6/49 draw to buy a ticket and they agreed they’d split one and that she’d contribute to another one he planned to buy with barber Mike Dettorre.
Nahas alleges he showed her an old ticket with numbers he’d played with the barber, she wrote them on a slip of paper and they settled up.
The whole family – including Nahas – rode to Toronto in a limo to collect Haddad’s winnings, toting garbage bags full of his losing lotto tickets.
Nahas claims she trusted he would tell her if he’d won with the shared ticket, but alleges that in August the paper fell from her wallet as she shopped and she “realized that she was owed one-third of the proceeds from the winning ticket.”
She claims her brother admitted it was the ticket he’d bought with her, but said it was unfair for her to share the winnings because she’d only contributed $1 and he’d bought thousands of tickets for years.
Haddad denies visiting his sister’s store that day, talking about buying any lottery ticket for that draw or having the old ticket, which he says was on Dettorre’s barber shop mirror where they kept their shared tickets.
In his account, he went to the barber shop the day of the draw, got the old ticket then went to the store around the corner to buy a new one with the same numbers.
He put it on Dettorre’s mirror and learned from him two days later that they’d won.
Haddad claims that after gaming officials learned his sister ran a store that sold lottery tickets, she was interviewed and “would have denied having any involvement or interest in the new ticket.”
He says he gave his family — including his sister — gifts of cash. When she claimed a share of his winnings in September, he showed her a copy of the winning ticket he and Dettorre signed and admitted nothing.
There’s one thing the siblings, who Nahas says were once close, can agree on: They haven’t spoken since.
Haddad says he told his sister to leave his home as she angrily demanded $10 million. Nahas alleges her brother said she’s “dead to him.”